Arshavin not in talks with Arsenal

 

Andrei Arshavin has yet to begin talks with Arsenal over a move from Zenit St Petersburg, according to his agent, who insists the Russian club must lower its demands for the player.

The Russians suggested yesterday a €21.5million move for the 27-year-old playmaker, who shot to prominence during Euro 2008, was set to be concluded - with the Emirates Stadium his likely destination.

However, while Gunners boss Arsene Wenger has long been a fan of Arshavin, the Barclays Premier League club are not prepared to meet such an exaggerated price tag, in a package which would be further increased by the player's wage demands.

Arshavin is reported to have visited Arsenal's Hertfordshire training ground during a trip to England earlier this year, while it has also been claimed the player is in fact already in London to put the final touches to the move.

That came as news to his representative, Dennis Lachter, who remains overseas and is in constant contact with his client.

While Zenit boss Dick Advocaat, the former Rangers manager, is resigned to losing Arshavin - who helped his side reach the Champions League group stages for the first time this season - Lachter maintains any talk of a done deal is premature.

"For now, there are not any negotiations going on, but I believe in the near future he will be on the move and that next week will bring some news," Lachter said. "I am sure that any club would be interested in the services of a quality player like Andrei, but it all depends on the money Zenit are asking for.

"However, I do not believe that they can get the money they want - the pound is going down and there is all this difficult financial situation which does not help."

While Zenit may well remain determined to hold out for a hefty fee, they could be forced to offload the unsettled player at a cut price - with Arshavin having threatened to invoke new FIFA regulations and buy out the remaining 18 months of his contract to become a free agent.